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Narrative set for the BJP: It’s brand Modi once again in 2024 | India

Ahmedabad: The narrative is set for the upcoming Assembly elections in different states and for the Lok Sabha election in 2024.

For the BJP it will be once again the brand (Narendra) Modi that will play a pivotal role when it seeks a mandate for its third consecutive term.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that during his election rallies he had urged the people of Gujarat to make sure that Bhupendra (Patel) beats Narendra (Modi’s) record.

“But the people of Gujarat have broken all records and created history,” Modi said after BJP’s historic win in the Gujarat Assembly elections whose results were declared on Thursday.

BJP won by a thumping majority with victory on 156 seats of the 182-strong Assembly.

This is the best-ever performance of BJP surpassing the Congress’ 149 seat feat in 1985 election under the leadership of former CM Madhavsinh Solanki.

Women wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling booth during the second and final phase of Gujarat Assembly elections, in Ahmedabad, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. Photo: PTI

It was also the worst performance for Congress, which could win only 17 seats down 60 seats compared to 2017 when it won 77 seats.

Not only did Congress lose its vote share in all districts, but also drew a blank in as many as 16 districts.

According to the Election Commission, BJP’s vote share in Gujarat in 2022 was 52.5% up 3.5 percentage points compared to 2017 went it got 49% of the vote share. On the contrary, Congress’s vote share was down to 27.3% down from 41.1%in the previous Assembly elections.

With just 17 seats, Congress would not even qualify to become the main opposition party in the Gujarat Assembly.

This verdict in Gujarat is significant for the Aravind Kerjiwal-led Aam Admi Party (AAP) which won five seats but captured nearly 13% of the vote share.

This would herald AAP into becoming a national party. However, AAP’s performance in what was considered to be its stronghold, the South Gujarat region, was extremely poor.

It failed to win even a single seat in Surat where it has 27 members in the local civic body. Both its top leaders Alpesh Kathiriya (Varachha seat) and state president Gopal Italia (Katargam seat) lost by a significant margin.

How the regions performed

Saurashtra-Kutch

Most of the top leaders of BJP, including Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, held scores of rallies and roadshows ahead of the first phase of election in Saurashtra region. Representational image/Shutterstock/Dchauy

Total seats: 54

BJP: 46

Cong: 3

AAP: 4

Others: 1 (SP)

BJP made an all-out efforts to win back Saurashtra region with most of its top leaders, including Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, holding scores of rallies and roadshows ahead of the first phase of election.

Their efforts proved not just fruitful but overwhelming. Of the 54 seats in Saurashtra and Kutch, the party bagged 46, which is double the number it could get in 2017.

In contrast, Congress could win only three seats, about 10% it had won in 2017.

Congress won in Manavadar, Somnath and Porbandar. In 2017, the grand old party had succeeded in claiming 30 seats.

The Morbi bridge collapse tragedy that claimed 135 lives, had hardly any impact on the electorate who chose BJP over Congress with all its three seats. BJP’s Kanti Amrutiya won with a margin of over 62,000 on the seat he had earlier lostin 2017.

BJP also won the Wankaner seat for the first time after 2002 with its candidate Jitendra Somani defeating Congress’s three-term MLA Mohammad Pirzada.

People of Saurashtra regions always offer something unexpected.

This time, it gave AAP four seats of the total five the party won in the state. AAP candidate won Visavadar, Jamjodhpur, Gariyadhar and Botad.

Former NCP members Kandhal Jadeja who contested on the Samajwadi Party ticket this time won comfortably from Kutiyana seat in Porbandar district.

BJP swooped on all five seats in Amreli district, making up for its loss in 2017 when it had zero seats.

Congress’s seating MLA Vimal Chudasama won the Somnath seat with a margin of 1,300 votes.

In Kutch, BJP won all six seats. It retained five it won in 2017 and wrested Rapar seat from Congress.

South Gujarat

While the Congress’ tally was reduced to just one, AAP opened its account in South Gujarat. Photo: Twitter/AAPGujarat.

Total Seats: 35

BJP: 33

Cong: 1

AAP: 1

Others: 0

Congress was nearly whitewashed in South Gujarat region with BJP winning 33 of the total 35 seats.

While the Congress’ tally was reduced to just one, AAP opened its account in the region. Congress’ Anant Patel retained Vansda, while AAP’s Chaitar Vasava won in Dediapada

Out of 35 seats in South Gujarat region BJP had won 25 in 2017, three fewer compared to 2012 when it had won 28 seats.

Congress in 2017 had won eight seats and the Bharatiya Tribal Party two.

However, BJP increased its number in the 2020by-election after Congress MLAs from Dang Mangal Gavit and from Kaprada, Jitu Chaudhary, resigned and joined BJP.

BJP won Jhagadia, Nizar, Vyara, Mandvi, Mahuva, Gandevi, Dang, Kaprada, Dharampur and Umargam. Of these seats, Mandvi, Nizar, Vyara and Vansda were with the Congress.

One of the major upsets for Congress in south Gujarat was the Vyara where it lost for the first time. BJP’s Mohan Kokani defeated Congress’s sitting MLA and three-time legislator Punaji Gamit.

Another surprise was the defeat of tribal strongman and seven-term MLA from Jhagadia Chhotu Vasava who was contesting as an independent candidate.

He lost to BJP’s Ritesh Vasava by 23,500 votes.

While the BJP retained all the 12 seats in Surat, at least four of its MLAs contesting in the Diamond city won with a lead of over 1 lakh votes.

BJP candidate from Choryasi, Sandip Desai won with a lead of 1.85 lakh votes. The others include Harsh Sanghavi from Majura (lead of 1.16 lakh); Mukesh Patel from Olpad (1.15 lakh) and Purnesh Modi from Surat West (1.04 lakh).

In Ankleshwar, Ishwarsinh Patel of BJP won against his elder brother Vijaysinh Patel of Congress with a margin of 40,441 votes.

Central Gujarat

BJP improved its tally from 37 in 2017 to 55 in Central Gujarat. Photo: PTI.

Total seats: 61

BJP: 55

Cong: 5

AAP: 0

Others: 1

It was an embarrassing defeat for the Congress in 61 seats of central Gujarat that include districts of Ahmedabad, Anand, Kheda, Mahisagar, Dahod, Panchmahal, Chhota Udepur and Vadodara.

It managed to win just five seats while BJP improved its tally from 37 in 2017 to 55. One seat was won by an independent, AAP drew a blank.

Congress lost all seats in Vadodara, Kheda, Panchmahal, Dahod and Chhota Udepur districts.

The districts of Anand and Kheda considered to be a Congress bastion accounted for 13 assembly seats– seven in Anand and six in Kheda.

Congress had eight seats in 2017 while BJP had five in this region.

The biggest blow to Congress was loss of its traditional bastions like Borsad in Anand district and Mahudha in Kheda districts – which had not gone to BJP even in 2002. BJP has won those seats for the first time.

The two seats in Anand district where Congress has won include Anklav represented by former GPCC chief Amit Chavda and Khambhat, where the Congress had fielded a new face Chirag Patel.

Mahisagar comprising three seats ensured Congress win one Lunawada seat. The victory here was attributed to a rebel BJP candidate who fought as an independent and managed to eat into BJP votes.

In Panchmahal and Dahod all 11 seats were won by the BJP.

The dominance of BJP in Vadodara district continued with the winning on nine of the 10 seats. The only seat it lost went to a part rebel Dharmendrasinh Vaghela contesting from Vaghodia.

Congress also lost the three seats in Chhota Udepur district. Congress’s leader of opposition Sukhram Rathwa lost from Pavijetpur.

North Gujarat

Though the North Gujarat region saw the party’s performance dwindle, it managed to win eight seats out of the total 32. Photo: PTI.

Total seats: 32

BJP: 22

Cong: 8

AAP: 0

Others: 2

The North Gujarat region which has been the traditional stronghold of the Congress was the face saver for the party in 2022.

Though the region saw the party’s performance dwindle, it managed to win eight seats out of the total 32. The BJP won 22 seats.

The independents sprung a surprise with two of them winning with a significant margin.

In Dhanera, BJP rebel Mavji Desai who contested as an independent polled 96,053 votes and won with a margin of 35,696 defeating BJP’s Bhagwanji Patelwho polled 60,357 votes.

Dhavalsinh Zala, another BJP rebel, won the Bayad seat as an independent in Aravalli district with over 67,000 votes defeating his nearest rival BJPs Bhikhiben Parmar who got over 61,000 votes.

In 2012 and 2017 polls, the performance of the BJP and Congress had been nearly the same. Of the 32 seats, BJP had won 15 and Congress 17 in 2012 while BJP’s tally in 2017 was 14 and Congress 17 in 2017.

The contest between the Congress and BJP in Banaskantha and Patan districts was very close. BJP had an upper hand in Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Aravalli and Gandhinagar districts.

In Banaskantha district, Congress’s Geni Thakor won Vav seat for the second consecutive time.

Her party also secured Danta and Vadgam, where Jignesh Mevani won with a comfortable margin for the second time.

Banas Dairy chairman Shankar Chaudhary won the Tharad seat by defeating sitting Congress MLA Gulabsinh Jadhav. In Deodar, BJP’s Keshaji Chauhan defeated sitting Congress MLA Shiva Bhuriya with a comfortable margin.

BJP and Congress won two seats each in Patan.

Mehsana continued to be the BJP bastion where the saffron party won six out of seven seats.

In Gandhinagar, Alpesh Thakor of the BJP won from the Gandhinagar South and his party emerged victorious on three other seats. Congress securedonly one seat in Gandhinagar.

BJP all the way: No urban-rural divideUnlike in 2017, the Congress faced a drubbing on rural seats which was considered its stronghold.

The BJP has won 75 seats of the total 92 rural seats. It improved its tally from 36 in 2017, when the Congress had bagged 50 seats.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel with BJP candidates during a public meeting after BJP’s victory in the Gujarat Assembly elections, in Ahmedabad, Thursday, December 8, 2022. Photo: PTI

This time,the Congress was reduced to mere 11. AAP succeeded on three rural seats — Dediapada, Gariadhar, and Jamjodhpur.

Two independent candidates won in Bayad and Dhanera. Kandhal Jadeja, who was denied a ticket by the NCP, won Kutiyana in Porbandar on a SamajwadiParty ticket.

Meanwhile, in the BJP’s bastion, the urban areas, the party won 42 out of the 45 falling under the eight municipal corporation areas.

The Congress was restricted to only two seats. The BJP gained five seats compared to its previous performanceof 38 urban seats.

The Congress reduced its tally by five seats. One independent candidate, a suspended BJP member Dharmendrasinh Vaghela, won Vaghodia seat in Vadodara.

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